Pentagon Chief to Suspend Turkey’s F-35 Pilot Training

June 10, 2019


Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan is taking significant steps toward cutting Turkey out of the F-35 fighter jet program over concerns about Ankara’s plans to purchase a Russian missile system, telling his Turkish counterpart that pilots currently training in the United States must leave the country by July 31 and halting training for new students.

Turkey can still change its mind on purchasing the S-400 missile system, which is expected to arrive on Turkish soil as soon as this month, and the steps regarding F-35 training will be reversed, a senior U.S. defense official told Foreign Policy.

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